Hashimoto’s disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis or autoimmune thyroiditis, affects 14 million people in the United States alone. It is an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system attacks your thyroid, a small gland at the base of your neck below your Adam’s apple, causing inflammation.
Every cell in the body depends upon thyroid hormones for regulation of the metabolism and other bodily functions. The resulting inflammation, if not treated early, can eventually lead to an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). This is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. It primarily affects middle-aged women but also can occur in men and women of any age, as well as children. Our doctor here at Angel Longevity Medical Center, Dr. Anju Mathur, offers hashimotos disease treatment.
- Panic attacks
- Muscle weakness
- Dry skin
- Restless sleep
- Memory loss
- Trouble focusing
- Hair loss
- Muscle or joint pains
- Concentration problems
- Sleepiness during the day
What causes Hashimoto’s disease?
It is not specifically known what causes Hashimoto’s disease or triggers the immune system to suddenly start attacking the thyroid gland. However, the dysfunctional immune system could be triggered by the cumulative toxic burden on the body.
This can include, but is not be limited to: stress, injuries, sugar, heavy metals, chemicals, plastics, food additives, food allergies, refined and processed foods, viruses, bacteria, yeast, fungus, and mold.
Here’s a closer look at the different triggers that may be associated with Hashimoto’s disease:
(especially gluten intolerance) have been found in patients with several different autoimmune disorders, including Hashimoto’s disease.
Chronic viral infections
Including Epstein Barr virus, mycoplasma, CMV, or HHV 6 virus can cause Hashimoto’s disease. The chronic infections in the body can cause an imbalance of Th1 or Th2 immune pathways, leading to a dysfunctional immune system which fails to differentiate self from invading pathogens.
Many autoimmune disorders are created by this shift in immune pathways. Hashimoto’s disease is one such condition. This process can also be seen in patients with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Is seen in certain cases. In some patients, familial predisposition is a strong factor; both mother and daughter are seen to be afflicted with Hashimoto’s disease.
Are also at a high risk of developing Hashimoto’s, as there are shifts in the immune system during pregnancy.
Too little or too much iodine
(or essential minerals like selenium, iron, or zinc) may cause inflammation of the thyroid gland.
What diagnostic tests will I need?
Traditionally, doctors test for TSH to determine if a patient has thyroid issues. However, TSH only tells us if communication between the pituitary and thyroid gland is intact. It does not tell us anything about the thyroid cellular activity which reflects the actual thyroid status of a person.
Thyroid hormone is needed by virtually every cell in the body. The thyroid gland produces 80% T4 and 20% T3. T4 is converted to T3 in peripheral tissues, especially the liver.
TSH is not a good indicator of thyroid status, especially in Hashimoto’s disease, because as cells are destroyed and subsequently release T4, TSH could remain normal.
Since Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disorder, antibodies against thyroid proteins (thyroid peroxidases and thyroglobulin) may be elevated, but not always. If your antibodies are elevated, you have the diagnosis. But, if antibodies are negative, it does not rule out Hashimoto’s disease. This is a complex disorder and should be evaluated thoroughly using all diagnostic modalities to obtain a complete clinical picture.
How we test for Hashimoto’s disease
At Angel Longevity Medical Center, we do comprehensive thyroid testing including free T4, free T3, reverse T3, antibodies against thyroid peroxidase enzyme, and thyroglobulin antibodies. We also have the patient take their basal body temperature, another clinical indicator of thyroid function.
The right tests and an early diagnosis can help halt the progression of the disease and heal the inflammation in your thyroid gland, thus preserving as much thyroid function as possible.
Our holistic treatment approach
This autoimmune disease has a root cause in each patient, and it is not necessarily the same for everyone. Identifying the personalized trigger for each patient is what we do. We use what is called an integrative functional medicine approach – which is designed to thoroughly investigate and determine the cause of the condition and the appropriate treatment.
Once diagnosed, our hashimotos disease treatment should begin immediately if the thyroid gland is to be saved. If left untreated, it can lead to other health problems, such as heart conditions, severe depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, and more. These may not be amenable to standard treatment with an antidepressant, pain killers, or heart medications.
What are the natural treatments for Hashimoto’s disease?
Treatment is highly personalized depending upon the individual being treated. If the patient is showing antibodies against the thyroid, treatment should begin immediately to halt the progress of the disease and save as much thyroid tissue as possible.
Immune boosting modalities will help reverse the disease. Treatment that boosts Th1 pathways and calms down hyperactive Th2 pathways will reverse the disease. This is very helpful, especially when chronic viral infections are present.
Chronic viral infections should be treated if they are present. This could halt the disease by treating the underlying cause. We use nutritional supplements as well as intravenous therapies to address the viral load.
Identifying food allergies and sensitivities will eliminate the trigger factor in many patients. Treating leaky gut will resolve the hyperpermeability issue in the gut. As 70% of the immune system resides in the gut, it makes sense to balance the microbiome by increasing intake of probiotics and eliminating any infection present in this area.
Hashimoto’s Disease vs. Hypothyroidism: What’s the difference?
In the beginning phases of Hashimoto’s disease, thyroid cells are damaged by antibodies produced by the immune system or the thyroid itself. The damaged thyroid cells begin releasing thyroid hormones in excess, producing symptoms that look like overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism.
The patient may experience palpitations, anxiety, sweating, tremors, diarrhea, and rapid weight loss. When the attack abates, thyroid hormone levels could come back to normal or become subnormal.
In this phase, the patient may feel tired, lethargic, mentally slow or depressed. They may be unable to lose weight or experience alarming weight gain despite diet and exercise.
This is like a roller coaster ride and usually a conundrum that can baffle practitioner and patient alike. As the disease progresses, more and more of thyroid tissue is destroyed, ultimately leading to hypothyroidism. At this stage, the patient will require lifelong thyroid hormone replacement medicine.
Meet Dr. Anju Mathur
Getting the correct treatment plan for each patient is what Hashimoto’s disease treatment doctor, Anju Mathur, M.D., specializes in. With her comprehensive “Back to Wellness Program,” she uses treatment protocols that can reduce the symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease and improve overall thyroid function.
As a thyroid doctor, Dr. Mathur uses what is called an integrative functional medicine approach, which is designed to thoroughly investigate and determine the appropriate treatment protocols. Her “Back to Wellness Program” helps patients improve their overall levels of health and wellness with advanced therapies.
Our Back to Wellness Program
Hashimoto’s disease treatment specialist, Dr. Anju Mathur, offers her “Back to Wellness Program” to patients suffering from the effects of this autoimmune disease. Because triggers for the condition vary from patient to patient, she does a comprehensive analysis of patient history, lifestyle factors, diet, and emotions. She evaluates multiple bodily systems, including the endocrine, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and immune systems.
Upon completing a thorough analysis of the patient’s current state of health, Dr. Mathur will customize a “Back to Wellness Program” for patients with carefully selected therapies that will improve their particular conditions and imbalances.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy may improve this condition because it can supplement thyroid hormone with a version that is identical to what is produced by the human body. Phospholipid exchange therapy can detoxify the body at a cellular level, and IV nutrient therapy can help the body get the nutrition it needs to support a healthy immune system.
Patients can receive a customized treatment protocol that will reduce the effects of Hashimoto’s disease and improve overall immune function. To learn how to improve thyroid function, reduce the effects of Hashimoto’s, and increase your quality of life, please call Hashimoto’s specialist, Dr. Anju Mathur at 323-661-7661.
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